Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: @KendareBlake
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 398 pages
Rating: 4 Stars


When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Grace Review

Three sisters.
Three Queens.
Three special powers.
Only one survivor.

The premise of this book is what caught my attention. And I was eager to learn why three sisters where for desperate for a crown, that they’d sacrifice their own family to obtain it. However, the path to the crown is not merely a destiny. The path has been written by others and the sisters are merely pawns.

And those pawns are . . .
Queen Katherine – the poisoner
Arsinoe – the naturalist
Mirabella – the elemental

Three Black Witches are born in the glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends.

Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen.
Two to devour,
And one to be queen.

What surprised me the most when I started this book, was the weakness of the three Queens. Of the three, Mirabella appears the strongest with her power, and the likely to win the crown, which requires her to kill her other two sisters. But we learn fairly early on, that killing is something that terrifies her. That’s when the other players set plans to control the outcome at the Beltane Festival.

There is not a lot of world building in this book, but there are a number of characters introduced. It would have been nice to have a character recap from the onset to keep things straight, but with some notes I was able to follow along eventually.

The pace of the story isn’t as fast as I expected, as the author builds each Queen’s backstory, highlighting their strengths (or lack thereof). There is also the sub plot of each Queen’s romantic interests which was confusing at times. But with each chapter, the suspense of the Beltane Festival is built.

The last third of the book is probably the best part as each Queen finally finds her path. What’s most shocking is the turn of events that builds their thirst for power, for the first time. Now they have a reason to survive. Now they have a reason to conquer.

Given how everything ends, I’ll definitely continue with the next book in the trilogy.

– Grace

Book 1, Three Dark Crowns: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 2, One Dark Throne: Amazon USAmazon UK

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